Late last year, we broke the news that classic Hangouts was set to be deprecated and replaced by Hangouts Chat and Meet. Google confirmed the news and later provided an October 2019 deadline. Today, the company announced that it’s delaying the transition and eventual death of Hangouts to June 2020.
In January, Google laid out its deprecation schedule for classic Hangouts, with G Suite customers being the first to be fully transitioned to Hangouts Chat and Meet. The company has a four-part timeline, with Phase 4 — where “Everyone needs to transition” — now planned for late 2020.
Specifically, the final transition when classic Hangouts is entirely disabled for a G Suite domain will not begin until at least June 2020. Even then, Google has not specified how long this period will run for.
This delay of Google Hangouts’ death is due to customer feedback asking for “more time to migrate organizations from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat.” Google plans to improve the transition experience for group conversations, while adding more functionality to Chat.
In the interim, we’ll continue to improve the transition experience of classic Hangouts group conversations, as well as add new Chat features like Read receipts. We’ll also provide advance notice once we have a more definitive date, so please monitor the G Suite Updates blog for updates.
G Suite admins can sign up for an Accelerated Transition Program to begin the migration to Chat and Meet, and have classic Hangouts disabled. The upcoming Read receipts in Chat joins other improvements in recent months:
- Google details what’s next for Hangouts Chat: Guest access, Meet/Voice integration, PWA to replace Electron
- Hangouts Chat coming to Gmail as Hangouts Meet adds live captioning & public streams
- Hangouts Chat adds typing indicators in direct messages
Even with the death of classic Hangouts for G Suite, the consumer version will not yet be impacted. Google’s original plan was to begin transitioning free accounts after the enterprise migration, and that remains the case today.